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Recordkeeping Advice No. 8

Microfilm Reproductions of State Records

Issued: 13 July 2005 

Recordkeeping Advices issued by the State Archivist provide advice on the management of records of State and local government organisations and support or explain recordkeeping requirements set out in formal State records guidelines.

This advice provides information about the proper management of microfilm reproductions of State records. State Records Guideline No. 8, Management of Source Records that have been copied, converted or migrated informs State and local government organisations of their legal obligations regarding the destruction of source records that have been copied, converted into another medium or format, or migrated from one system to another.

Ian Pearce
State Archivist


Introduction

This advice provides information about the proper management of microfilm reproductions of State records.

State Records Guideline No. 8, Management of source records that have been copied, converted or migrated informs State and local government organisations of their legal obligations regarding the destruction of source records that have been copied, converted into another medium or format, or migrated from one system to another.

Definitions

Appraisal - is the process of determining the value of the record or series of records.

Disposal - involves either the destruction of records; their transfer to the Archives Office for retention as part of the State archives; their transfer to another custodian; or some other process approved by the State Archivist which removes them from the custody of their creator or current keeper.

Permanent value records - are those that should be transferred to the Archives Office 25 years after the date of creation. 

Record - is a document or an object that is, or has been, made or kept by reason of any information or matter that it contains or can be obtained from it or by reason of its connection with any event person, circumstance, or thing. A document includes any printed or written material and an object includes a sound recording, coded storage device, magnetic tape or disc, microfilm, photograph, film, map, plan, or model or painting or other pictorial or graphic work.

Reproduction - the output of a copying, conversion, or migration process, i.e. the copy, converted, migrated or reformatted version of the source record.

Source records - documents or records that have been copied converted or migrated, or will be the input for such a process. A source record may be an original record or it may be a reproduction that was generated by an earlier copying, conversion or migration process.

State records -are records of State government agencies/departments, State authorities, or local authorities. These public bodies are defined in Section 3 of the Archives Act 1983.

Temporary value records - are those that can be destroyed under the authority of an authorised Disposal Schedule after a minimum retention period, or once certain requirements have been met.

Unscheduled records - are those that are not described in an authorised disposal schedule.

Reproductions of Permanent Value Records

The master microfilm reproductions of permanent value records should be transferred to the Archives Office.

The objectives of the Archives Act 1983 are to preserve important State records and to facilitate public access to these records. When proposing the transfer of master microfilm it is important to take into account the provision of public access to these reproductions. Therefore, agencies will usually be required to deposit a duplicate film at the same time as the master films are transferred.


The standard procedures for transferring records contained in Recordkeeping Advice No. 12, Preparing Records for transfer to the Archives Office should be followed when transferring films to the Archives Office.

Agencies wishing to destroy source records that have permanent value must seek specific authorisation from the State Archivist. Decisions to authorise destruction will be determined by the value of the source records and the quality of the microfilm reproductions. Applications for authorisation must be made in writing to the State Archivist and must provide details of the relevant records and the quality of the reproductions.

The reproductions must have the required degree of accuracy, authenticity, integrity, accessibility and usability necessary to substitute for the source records as defined in State Records Management Guideline No. 1, Making Proper Records.

Reproductions of Temporary Value Records

The reproductions of temporary value source records may be retained as the official agency records providing they have the required degree of authenticity, integrity, accessibility and usability necessary to substitute for the source records in business and regulatory applications. 

This includes their use as evidence in the Courts, to respond to Freedom of Information requests or to comply with State records guidelines issued by the State Archivist. 

The Disposal Schedule for Temporary Value Source Records DA No. 2159 covers the disposal of source records that have temporarystatus in a current disposal schedule and have been copied to microfilm. The reproductions of these records must be retained for the retention periods specified in the relevant disposal schedule.

Destruction of Unscheduled Source Records

Agencies wishing to destroy unscheduled source records must seek specific authorisation from the State Archivist. Before seeking this authorisation agencies should appraise the records to determine whether they are of permanent or temporary value.

Decisions to authorise destruction will be determined by the value of the source records and the quality of the microfilm reproductions. Applications for authorisation must be made in writing to the State Archivist and must provide details of the relevant records and the quality of the reproductions. The reproductions must have the required degree of authenticity, integrity, reliability and usability necessary to substitute for the source records. For more information

Archives Office of Tasmania, State Records Guideline No. 8, Management of source records that have been copied, converted or migrated

Archives Office of Tasmania, Disposal Schedule for Temporary Value Source Records, DA No. 2159

Archives Office of Tasmania, State Records Guideline No. 2, Retention and Disposal of State Records

Archives Office of Tasmania, Recordkeeping Advice No. 10, Disposal of Unscheduled Records